ALL BLACKS CAPTAIN Kieran Read says he is looking forward to spending more time with his family after next year’s World Cup, as he gets set to play overseas for the final years of his career.
The 33-year-old, who has been subjected to criticism from some quarters for his form during the 2018 season, has confirmed he will bring down the curtain on his long and illustrious All Blacks career after the World Cup in Japan next year.
Read will seek a short-term contract in either Japan or Europe, and will make the move abroad with his wife and three children.
“As a family, it will be a good opportunity,” Read told New Zealand radio station Newstalk ZB.
“My wife and kids have made a lot of sacrifices over the years I’ve been playing. It’s probably the hardest thing. You appreciate that and know how much it takes out of them.
“Spending more time with them would be cool.”
After an injury-hit season, Read has reminded his critics that he was only getting back to full fitness during the All Blacks’ Rugby Championship campaign and European tour following back surgery at the end of last year.
The number eight was not at his best when he returned to Steve Hansen’s side following injury, but insists he feels good heading into pre-season for the 2019 Super Rugby season.
“Getting over back surgery was probably the biggest thing for myself,” he said. “It took a lot of time and effort.
“It’s been 12 months since the surgery and it probably wasn’t until basically the end of the year where I started feeling somewhat decent physically.
“Where I was at this point last year, the pain I was in, it [surgery] was needed.
“It’s been a fairly fast recovery in some respects. I’ve worked pretty hard at it and I’m in good shape now.
“So it bodes well to head into this off-season and pre-season feeling in really good shape.”
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